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Schmuck Bait / Live-Action Films

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  • In 999-9999, a girl named Rainbow urged those who heard about how Rainbow's friend dying horribly upon having called the number, to not call the number. Naturally the group of kids who Rainbow newly befriended fell for it. The aforementioned number will grant any wish the next day only to be traded by the lives of those who called (and have their wish granted) by the end of the day after the wish is granted.
  • In Andhadhun, a random guy finds an expensive watch in a urinal. By keeping it, he's successfully framed by Simi and Manohar for Mr. Sinha's murder, since they dumped his watch there.
  • Blazing Saddles: "Candygram for Mongo!" Cue first half of the Looney Tunes stinger. "Mongo like candy." Open box. Watch powder explosion completely fill the screen, as if to Eat the Camera. Cue other half of the stinger.
  • In Black Panther (2018), Shuri is showing T'Challa the capabilities of his new suit. She tells him to kick the dummy presently wearing it, which goes flying from the force of his kick. After resetting the dummy(and some grumbling), she asks him to kick it again. This time, T'Challa is the one sent flying due to the suit's system to store and release kinetic energy.
  • In The Black Phone, the door of the basement the kidnapped child is in remains unlocked at night and seems the perfect chance to escape. Finney gets a phone call from one of the previous victims telling him to not simply leave and go up the stairs because it's a trap. The Grabber intentionally does this, spending the night in a chair near the door, belt in hand, ready to beat and kill any victim that tries to escape that way.
  • While robbing a gumball factory, one of the thieves cannot resist the door labeled "DO NOT OPEN THIS DOOR" in The Brink's Job.
  • In The Cabin in the Woods, the cabin's cellar doesn't just have one piece of Schmuck bait, oh no. It's filled with dozens of weird or mysterious objects, and, if played with, each of them will summon a different kind of monster to kill the cabin dwellers. The cellar itself is Schmuck Bait as well, since the trap door threw itself open in the middle of a game of Truth or Dare.
  • Circle: Right after Beth is killed merely because she didn't have children, the Rich Man asks the Black Man next to him to share his life story as well. The Black Man is savvy enough not to fall for that one, since it's already been established that people will be killed for the pettiest reasons.
    Black Man: Who, me? Fuck that man, I ain't saying shit. Y'all killed her and she did nothing wrong.
  • In Con Air, U.S. Marshal Larkin and a couple of prison guards search Big Bad Cyrus Grissom's cell. One of the items they find is a small package with a note taped to it reading, "Do Not Open." Larkin immediately leaves to call the bomb squad, cautioning the guards on the way out not to open the box. He's barely ten feet away from the cell when one of the guards plops down on the cot and opens the box. Cue massive explosion.
  • Constantine (2005): While the title character is preparing to drag the demon out of the possessed girl, he tells the men helping him "Close your eyes. And whatever happens, don't look." One of them does. He collapses and his hair turns white.
  • Deathstalker: The Amulet of Life is sort of used as this towards the end of the movie. It is left hanging from the ceiling of a completely unguarded room that the main protagonist had no trouble reaching. When Deathstalker tries to grab it, however, one of the main villain's mooks attacks him.
  • Discussed in D.E.B.S.. As they're entering a bank the villains are supposedly robbing, Max points out that the creepy shadows, confined space and complete lack of bad guys is a classic example of this trope. Amy, who's feeling defensive about being promoted over Max's head, orders them inside the vault anyway. The vault is empty of villains.
    Amy: See, that wasn't so hard. [trap door opens under their feet]
  • Elves (2017): In the movie prologue, one of the kids, while apparently under the influence of the Christmas Elf doll, tells his little brother he knows where his Christmas present is. He takes him over to the stove and opens it up, telling him to go inside to find it. The kid seemingly doesn't question this and goes inside, whereupon he's sealed inside and the oven turned on.
  • Entrapment: In Mac's castle, Gin suddenly sees a small key lying in front of a large cabinet; and she is on the point of unlocking it, when Mac's voice is suddenly heard. Later, it is revealed that the cabinet contains equipment for listening in on telephone calls.
  • The Fifth Element: Zorg counts on this happening to his alien former henchmen after giving them some weapons even though they didn't bring him what he wanted: "Now a real killer, when he picked up the ZF-1, would've immediately asked about the little red button on the bottom of the gun." One of the aliens looks puzzled at the button and then presses it, blowing them all up.
  • From Russia with Love:
    • Cited by Kronsteen when enacting his Evil Plan. British Intelligence will suspect they're being set up, but with the lure of getting hold of a LEKTOR won't be able to resist the challenge of outsmarting the Soviets. James Bond makes several moves designed to outsmart this Obvious Trap (like stealing the LEKTOR a day early) but doesn't realise it's not a Soviet trap he's walking into, as SPECTRE are playing both sides.
    • Red Grant accepts a bribe of fifty gold sovereigns from Bond for a last cigarette, and then demands to know if he has any more. Bond makes an overly hasty grab for the other briefcase so that Grant will get suspicious, stop him and open it himself, setting off the tear gas Booby Trap.
  • Garfield: Jon is trying to place Odie's lost posters when Liz arrives at the house for their dinner date. Conflicted, Jon paces around the den asking Garfield what he should do.
    Jon: What am I gonna do? I've waited for this night my entire life!
    Garfield: If you tell her the truth, you'll feel much better. And you won't have to see her anymore. It's kinda creepy having a vet around the house anyway.
    Jon: I can't just go out and pretend like nothing's happened, can I?
    Garfield: Well, I sure could. The one thing you can't do is tell her the dog's gone.
    Jon: I've gotta tell her.
    Garfield: No.
    Jon: I've gotta tell her...
    Garfield: No! That's not what I said! [Jon runs off] Schmuck...
  • In the beginning of The Goonies, Jake Fratteli masquerades as a hung corpse in his jail cell, getting the attention of the guard. He sees what looks like a suicide note in Jake's jacket. When he read it...
    Guard: [reading] "You schmuck. Do you really think I'd be stupid enough to kill myself?" ... Kill myself?
    [Guard looks up to see Jake smiling at him before knocking him out]
  • The three simple rules for the care of Mogwai in Gremlins definitely fall under this heading. Just look at Gizmo - he's so cute and cuddly, what could possibly go wrong?
  • There's a jar of acid in Gremlins 2: The New Batch helpfully labeled "ACID: DO NOT THROW IN FACE". Two guesses what the Gremlins do with it.
  • The protagonist in Hellraiser: Deader finds the several day old corpse of a young woman with a packet near her body and the Lament Configuration in her stiffened hand. After retrieving both, the journalist watched a video tape from the packet in which the dead woman instructs her, with quite a large degree of urgency, to not open the box. Mere seconds after finishing the tape, she opens the box.
  • Help!: Several traps, particularly the last one, are comically obvious. The cast is cheerfully oblivious.
  • A couple of the gags in the Home Alone films follow this principle.
    • Home Alone: Kevin uses his BB gun to shoot Harry in the crotch through the doggy door. Then Marv sticks his head through the door, and is promptly shot in the forehead.
    • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York: After what Kevin pulled in the first film, you'd think they'd be more cautious.
      • One involves the crook pulling on a doorknob, only to find that it comes loose and is attached to a string. He then must keep pulling several more yards of the string before the trap (a staple gun at crotch height) is triggered. Presumably the idea was he'd know something was up, but be too determined to figure it out to stop.
      • A similar one has the doorknob cause a large tool chest to start rolling down the stairs at the door. The sound is extremely loud, and it takes several seconds for it to complete the journey. Naturally the trap requires that the thieves be curious about the noise and press their ears against the door, until the tool chest arrives.
    • Home Alone 3, Alex strings red wire in front of his house with a homemade sign warning of electrocution.
  • The Hunger Games: How Haymitch describes the whole Cornucopia at the start of the Games. Sure, it's full of weapons (including a bow and arrows for Katniss), food supplies and equipment that makes it overall very tempting... except going for it exposes you to the more trained career tributes, insuring a blood bath. Haymitch's advice is to ignore it completely and head for the woods immediately instead.
  • In Mom and Dad Save the World, there is a specific weapon that uses this trope as part of its function. It's called a "light grenade," and it kills people by disintegrating anyone who picks it up. What ensures this? The words "Pick me up" written prominently on one side. The weapon is devastating because it was invented on a Planet of Hats where everyone is Too Dumb to Live. We see the grenade wiping through an entire platoon, one soldier at a time, while one of the final soldiers requests reinforcements.
  • Murder Party: The protagonist finds an anonymous invitation to a "Murder Party" on the sidewalk, with instructions to come alone to an abandoned warehouse district at night. When the protagonist arrives, he's immediately tied up by people who intend to murder him. They remark that they can't believe someone was stupid enough to fall for their ploy.
  • In It (2017), one of the (many) ways Pennywise toys with the kids who enter the Haunted House is to manifest a room with three exit doors labeled (in blood) "Very Scary", "Scary", and "Not Scary At All". Since the floor's melting behind them, the kids shoot each other a This Is Gonna Suck look and take the third option. It's got a hallucinatory Undead Child (well her top half anyway) in it, which, in fairness, isn't too bad by Pennywise's standards.
  • Repeated in It: Chapter Two, this time on Richie and Eddie. Richie (who experienced it last time) has learned his lesson ("He's fucking with us") and chooses "Very Scary" and sees the bottom half of the same undead child. He slams the door shut ("He's not fucking with us!") and then chooses "Not Scary At All" again, and sees It as a Pomeranian, which soon becomes an Animalistic Abomination. This proves to be the last straw, and both flee in terror.
    Eddie: SHIT! Next time, we just go with regular Scary!
    Richie: Next time?!
  • Joe Versus the Volcano. Joe always wondered what the valve labeled "Do not turn" would do if he turned it. Since he's dying anyway, he goes right up to it and gives it a good turn. Absolutely nothing happens. Joe is incredulous about it. Why have a sign if nothing happens?!
  • Jurassic Park:
  • The thug Blue Face got his name in The Nice Guys when he open a bag of banknotes containing a blue dye pack. The bag's owner's protests that the bag's contents don't belong to him (he's only holding it as a friend!) only make the schmuck bait even more irresistible to the men looting his apartment.
  • Invoked Trope in Our Man Flint. When Derek Flint first meets Gilia face-to-face, she doesn't hide that she's a member of Galaxy who has tried to kill him twice already. She invites him to her apartment with the promise of sex and the opportunity of getting information from her, if he's willing in turn to take the risk of walking into what he knows is a trap.
  • Nightbooks: How the apartment lures children in. Alex is lured in by a TV playing The Lost Boys and pumpkin pie; Yaz was lured in with some of her grandmother's cooking; and a previous victim later revealed to be Natacha herself was lured in with a unicorn. Subverted in that, with Alex, it's shown that victims are at least compelled to take the bait. The original Gingerbread House in the apartment has the same property.
  • The Stinger during the credits of Percy Jackson and the Olympians has Percy's slimeball stepfather finding his refrigerator locked and a note from Percy taped to it to the effect of "do not open under any circumstances." He immediately breaks the lock off and finds himself face-to-face with Medusa's severed head.
  • Preservation: After having all their items stolen, Mike and Wit wander aimlessly through the woods. Mike notices several water bottles hanging from a tree. He sees nothing suspicious about this, and, unsurprisingly, ends up stepping on a Bear Trap the hunters moved there as a trap.
  • An Invoked Trope in Revenge of the Pink Panther. French crime boss Douvier rings up Inspector Clouseau with an anonymous tip-off to lure him to where his assassins are waiting. After he hangs up, his mistress says that Clouseau will think it's a trap, but Douvier replies that he'll think it's too obvious to be a trap. Gilligan Cut to Cato and Clouseau arguing.
    Cato: But it's obviously a trap!
    Clouseau: Cato, it is too obvious to be a trap.
  • The Ring. That cursed videotape.
    • It is at its worst in Ringu, where the protagonist actually has to travel to the Izu peninsula campsite and ask the owner for it, while being warned, and then watches it anyway. And leaves it where her kid can get at it.
  • In Saw II, Jigsaw leaves his victims a note specifically instructing them not to use the key found within on the door to the room. Someone does it anyway and ends up shot by a gun positioned in the peephole.
  • In Sheena, Vic Casey is being driven somewhere as a prisoner of the bad guys. He's riding in back of a Land Rover with a single Mook to guard him. Vic turns the volume up on his portable radio really loud seemingly just to annoy the guy, but it's all part of his plan to escape. When the angry guard moves to turn the radio off, Vic makes his move and jumps him, knees him under the chin and tosses him out.
  • Spaceballs
    • Dark Helmet orders Col. Sandurz to stop, whereupon he pulls a lever marked "Emergency Stop — Never Use". This causes Helmet to go flying across the room, squashing his helmet.
    • Also, there's a self-destruct button in the ship which Lone Starr has to push which tells you to not push unless you really, REALLY mean it. Justified as it's actually guarded and has decent security.
  • Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Chewie and the piece of meat. Possibly one of the few instances where it was bait. Annoying for those who thought Chewie should've been too smart to fall for something so obvious. Admiral Ackbar would have known better.
  • In the climax of Steel the Big Bad has the hero's hammer. Steel tells him not to press the red switch. The big bad notes he "has to push the envelope", activating the electromagnet and causing the weapon to return to Steel.
  • One short film staring Shirley Temple has a box mounted on a wall with a sign saying "Pull this cord to see the stars." Shirley's character pulls it and an Extendo Boxing Glove pops out, which harmlessly passes over her head due to her height. Later she sits under the box and pulls the cord to nail the antagonist of the film in the face when he is about to attack her.
  • The Three Stooges: The Movie: The titular stooges ended up pulling a label that explicitly says "Do Not Remove" since they mistook it as "Donut Remover".
  • Time Bandits: A shard of Evil gets transported back to the present with Kevin, lodging in their toaster oven. When Kevin's parents wonder what it is, Kevin shouts, "Mum, Dad, it's evil! Don't touch it!" Guess what Mum and Dad proceed to do?
  • The Transporter: Rule Three: Never look in the package. Too bad said package got noisy...
  • Undercover Brother. The Big Red Button in The Man's island fortress was labeled "Atomic Core": who would have thought it would detonate the base's Self-Destruct Mechanism?
  • Unthinkable involves the brutal torture of a man who has made several nuclear devices and placed them in cities across America. After one of the interrogators begs him to give them evidence that the threat is real, he relents and gives them a location. The building matches one of the video recordings he had sent to the government, but there is no bomb. Instead, on the roof is a picture of himself taped to the wall. Everyone leaves it alone until one dumbass soldier blurts "What the hell is that?" and snatches the picture off...triggering the detonator it was covering and blowing up the shopping mall across the street.
  • Throughout the opening sequence of West Side Story, various Sharks taunt the Jets into chasing them, leading them to be ambushed with paint, thrown garbage, etc.
  • The Merry Men in Robin Hood - czwarta strzała set a sign that says "No Entry! Nothing Interesting Here!" to bait the Nottingham guard into an ambush.